The Miami Heat are excited for the summer with the free agency with the hopes of re-signing stars such as Dwyane Wade, Hassan Whiteside and Luol Deng, the team’s effort hangs in a balance as rumors are swelling that Josh McRoberts maybe the central piece that could prove worthy for the Heat in the coming trading season.
McRoberts signed a four-year contract with the Heat worth $22.65 million back in 2014 and going into the next season he will have a base salary of $5,782,450. However, the 29-year old Duke standout was an injury prone athlete after tearing his right meniscus on December 9 against Phoenix, McRoberts underwent surgery to repair it on December 22 and was subsequently ruled out for the rest of the 2014–15 season; he appeared in just 17 games.
The catch here is for the Heat to find a team that is willing to trade for McRoberts to be able to have some space cap to lure back in the three superstars for the Heat and Pat Riley is weighing on things but said that re-signing Whiteside, Wade and Deng would be their priority come July 1. If they could not find a possible trade for McRoberts, they might have problems with giving out max contracts to their players who are jumping into free agency.
McRoberts is a talented small forward. His scoring mostly comes off fast breaks, rebounds, and hustle plays. He is a screen-setter with a decent jumper and possesses excellent passing skills for a big man. He is considered an average defender. Pau Gasol called McRoberts “scrappy and a hustler”.
Aside from re-signing their superstars, the Heat also plans of pursuing prize free agent Kevin Durant. However, things might get complicated if the Oklahoma City Thunder barge their way into the NBA Finals. Thus, Riley wants to settle things internally before looking at the Durant situation and the upcoming draft.
The Miami Herald writes that even if the Heat re-signs Whiteside come July with a max contract, they can still create a flexibility in their salary cap provided Wade agrees to a one-year contract this summer or a one-year deal with an option that all parties agree will not be exercised.
“To me, the only way you can make a dramatic change in your team is to get a proven superstar… in free agency,” Riley said last week when asked whether his master plan extends into the summer of 2017. “Every now and then, it happens. You have to keep yourself a little bit flexible for that opportunity.”
In the case of Deng, the Heat would prefer him and not McRoberts and hope that with the free agency they could ship him to other teams to give them more budget to get him back on their roster that is if Deng would not ask for a pay hike. The Heat and Riley are just praying that the 31-year old Sudanese would be healthy going into the next season, but Deng has already made his intentions clear that he wanted to come back and play for the Heat next season.
“Like I said I enjoyed it here. I enjoyed every bit of it. So going forward obviously I would love to be here. It’s something that we will sit down and discuss. I can’t really say one bad thing about being here. I enjoyed my time. The one thing that I know about here is that it’s an organization that wants to win and an organization that will support the players and what they do whether it’s on the court or off the court. My foundation got a lot of support, things I want to do in life. It’s a lot more than just basketball here,” Deng explained.
Like other teams from now until July 1 it will be a guessing game as to who will go which team, but for the Heat, they are doing a double time to solidify their roster first before doing a shopping spree in the free agency to strengthen their campaign for another top finish next season.
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